Let’s Play YIIK – 8

Hey folks, want to experience the trials of YIIK through podcast form? Episode 2 of YIIK Pics is out and it’s very good. Listen to my friends talk about chapter 2 of YIIK as this game somehow gets worse.

I also learned an important thing from listening to it. Turns out that you can just kinda toggle on an assist mode that makes the Time Energy unlimited use for no drawbacks.

After learning about the assist mode, I decided to ditch Rory for Alex. Now, I don’t exactly hate Rory. The thing is, he has the foundations of being a good character and he has an interesting gameplay gimmick. The problem is that he’s in YIIK, so the drama surrounding his character is written in a ham-handed way (never mind the golden alpaca that ruins any sort of gravitas his arc had) and because battles take forever, he’s a liability in a game where you need killing power. I’m basically arguing that Rory would be a good character if he was in a different game altogether.

In this installment, we head into the Mind Dungeon of Vella to look for the record. There’s a whole bunch of puzzles to solve and fights that took up almost an hour of time together.

Also, there’s a VA-11 HALL-A and ROM 2064 cameo here that feels really egregious. There’s like this working relationship between these games where they reference each other, which would be admirable if YIIK wasn’t the way it is. Also if the original director of ROM 2064 wasn’t an abuser. And actually while we’re at it, the voice actor of Alex is also an abuser with more allegations on him popping up a few days ago.

The whole quest for the record is done under the assumption that it is connected to Sammy, which everyone else kinda doubts but they go along with it anyway. Alex is somehow right because he sees a memory of Sammy in Vella’s mind dungeon. The bizarre part though is that he does not give a shit about this. Alex has no response to it as his focus shifts entirely to Vella, with the event not being mentioned afterward. Like, what? This is literally the second fucking time Alex goes somewhere for the purpose of helping Sammy and forgets about her.

Also man. The game is really weird about Vella. Despite being her Mind Dungeon, her world feels like some voyeuristic fantasy for Alex. What makes it feel like that is that aside from Vella telling Alex not to check out the door that hides her love, she is almost completely passive to him poking around her thoughts. The fact that she says fucking nothing about him kissing a balloon of her is astonishing because it’s very uncomfortable to me.

It’s during this playthrough that I saw a big problem with the game’s equips. Some pieces of equipment extends the possible combo that you can do; ie, the new guitar I got Vella adds a button press after holding down her attack. The problem is that the game only tells you an equipment’s stat changes and doesn’t mention the combo changes.

At the start of this part, for instance, Alex attacks with a record that can be spun 5 times, enabling long combos. I found a record that gives higher attack in exchange for less HP – but it does not mention that this record can only be spun twice. The result is that despite having a higher strength stat, the damage output is actually lower than what I had with the original record (at 10:42 I do 35 critical damage and at 27:15 I do 28 critical damage with the supposedly stronger record). Maybe the latter record’s stronger under the assumption that I don’t use assist mode? But also, why the fuck would you not use assist mode? Make the game take longer??

Also, the fact that Vella hits only slightly less than Claudio fucks me up because he has a much higher strength stat than her. How do the fucking stats work in this game? I’m sincerely begging somebody to go into the game code and poke around because it is an enigma to me. I want to understand.

At the end we have Vella talking about her past and like, it’s okay? Out of the main characters she’s probably the most developed. Claudio and Chondra kinda has some development, they tried with Rory but kinda do a bad job at it and Michael is a nothing though relatable character.

As for Alex though, I’m not convinced that he’s actually changed. He apologizes to Vella at the beginning, but he clearly does so under the pretense of going into her Mind Dungeon for the thing he’s apologizing over.

And like, a thing that I’m seeing is that Alex seems to be played up as a big force, with alternate versions of him standing by alternate Vellas in ominous cloaks. As all the cloaked figures with faces unveiled have been Alex so far, it’s not a stretch to assume that the strange figures surrounding that android is also him. If Alex ends up being an important figure in the world of YIIK, I feel that it would downplay the “not everything is about you” moral people keep trying to get him to comprehend.

The chapter ends on a narrative climax, but it lacks a climactic gameplay moment. I kept playing through expecting a boss to pop up, but I guess chapter 3 has no actual bosses?? Like what the hell? After the nonsense of a golden alpaca popping out of nowhere, you suddenly think you’re above boss battles, YIIK?

Whatever. Chapter 3 is finished. I’ve seen a spoiler thing while looking for images to make dumb meme video thumbnails that may come up in the next video and I’m already pre-hating it.

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